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PSPGEN021 Contribute to conflict management

Assessment task 2 Case study – peer mediation

 

Dispute between staff members – Background story:

 

Michael and Clare, two valued staff members, cannot seem to cooperate. They work in the same office as you at Piccadilly School, with Clare having a higher position than Michael. Michael has been at the school a lot longer and is somewhat older than Clare. He is frustrated that she is a lot younger and new and yet ‘orders’ him around. In his culture, older men are treated differently. The atmosphere in the office is very stressful. Clare has confided in you how Michael is slack and doesn’t listen. She tells you she wishes he was more like you. Michael has been absent quite a lot lately and you have decided to let the office manager know your concerns. The office manager informs the principal of the situation and suggests that you play a part in resolving the issue as you are the one who was first approached by the staff member. The principal has asked you (you will play the part of an administration assistant) as a ‘peer mediator’ to assist them in resolving their issues. She has asked that you take minutes of the meeting so they can be saved in case they are needed later. You organise a meeting with Michael and Clare. They agree to meet with you.

 

You are to complete the dialogue below as though you were really there and providing assistance. Complete the role play by filling in the blanks in dialogue form, using the hints provided.

 

Read the following dialogue: Case study

 

You

Briefly introduce the meeting and explain what the purpose of the meeting is.

Lay down ground rules. List two rules they must follow during the meeting.

Michael

Well she is always ordering me around and I can’t take it anymore.

Clare

If you did what I asked straight away, I wouldn’t have to ask more than once.

You

In order to identify the problem/issues, encourage Michael and Clare to describe the facts as they see them. 

Michael

Michael shrugs and curls his lips. Clare sighs and looks away

You

Acknowledge their feelings/emotions. What can you say to show you can see how they are feeling.

Ask a question to Michael and one to Clare so you can clarify any factors which may be relevant to the situation.

Michael

I tried to tell Clare the other day that I had too much to get done and she thought I was ignoring her and refusing to do what she asked.

Clare

I didn’t know you had that much to do, because you didn’t say anything. How am I supposed to know? You don’t take me seriously.

Michael

Well you seem to know everything.

You

Paraphrase what has been said to show you have been listening. 

Michael

Looks at you and notices you are writing notes down and asks you why you have been asked to involve yourself into their business.

You

Explain why it is a legal requirement for a school or any organisation to intervene when there is conflict identified within the workplace. (Name the legislation)

Clare

I really want to work this out. There are a lot of older staff members here and it is difficult being young and new. The work culture seems to be very traditional and I have to give out orders as I have a higher position.

You

Briefly describe what is meant by positional power and personal power. (See your class notes)

Michael

That’s not the problem. Clare’s a great worker. I just want her to stop nagging me. Where I come from, older people are respected.

You

You realise there might be an underlining issue. In your own words tell them how problems in their relationship may be due to some barriers and suggest how they could overcome these. (Use examples of specific barriers based on what Michael has just said to you)

Clare

I’m sorry Michael. I don’t know what we can do about it. I am younger but I have more responsibilities than you.

Michael

Yeah, but I’m not happy about it. 

You

Provide them with a practical solution to help them work together effectively.

If they agree to this advice, who will need to be informed before implementing these changes.

Clare

I’m happy with that.

You

Ask if Michael agrees.

Michael

I’m not sure that will solve anything.

You

At this point you feel that you have done what you can and that the issue is not resolved. Explain what you will do now and suggest what the next step may be for them.

Michael 

Walks away.

You

You begin to feel anxious that Michael ignored you and walked away.

You remembered what you learned in your Contribute to Conflict Management Unit at TAFE while completing Cert III in Business Administration.

List three things you say to yourself to help you to manage your own emotions.

Eg. I have done the best I can.

Sometime later

Being committed to the continuity of harmony in the administration office, the Principal intervenes. She decides to bring an independent Mediator to help. Michael and Clare have agreed to seek Mediation to help resolve their issues. 

After the Mediation process and because of your involvement in assisting Michael and Clare, Clare and Michael have given their consent to the Principal to provide you with a copy of the list of ‘Mediation Resolution’ agreements that Clare and Michael had agreed to during the mediation meeting. 

Clare and Michael agree to:

1)     Respect one another’s individual skills and strengths

You are to come up with three more

 

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